8 stages, 200+ acts and 170,000 people over 2 venues … Can only be Reading & Leeds Festival! The iconic festival returns to Richfield Avenue in Reading and Bramham Park in Leeds this weekend, for one of the biggest summer festivals. This year sees the introduction of 2 new stages: BBC Radio 1 Dance Stage and the BBC Radio 1Xtra Stage. Headline acts over the 3 day festival include Green Day, Biffy Clyro and Eminem! With Green Day set to headline Main Stage on Friday, check out some of my top pics for Day 1 at Reading!
Major Lazer: Radio1/NME Stage
Major Lazer (AKA American DJ/Producer Diplo and Walshy Fire) are primed to take over the Radio 1 /NME Stage with their infectious reggae rhythms and dancehall vibes; just in time for Notting Hill Carnival this weekend!
Having played at all the major festivals this year including, Coachella, Ultra and Lollapalooza, Major Lazer have been extensively touring with the release of their second album ‘Free The Universe’ in April, featuring a whole host of collaborations from Flux Paillion, Danielle from HAIM, Wyclef Jean, Santigold and Bruno Mars.
With reggae and dance hall firmly at the helm, expect big tracks such ‘Get Free‘ ft. Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors, ‘Jah No Partial’ ft Flux Pavillion, ‘Bumaye’ (Watch Out for This) ft. Busy Signal & Flexican and their latest single ‘Bubble Butt.’ No Major Lazer gig would be complete without some custom dub plates, energetic dancers’ twerking and inflatable Zorbs… what more could you ask for? Upcoming UK dates include Warehouse Project in Manchester and Brixton Academy London in November.
– Other acts to check out on the Radio 1/NME Stage are: Skrillex, A$AP Rocky, Peace and Bastille
Bondax: R1 Dance Stage
Lancaster based producer duo Bondax, made up of George Townsend and Adam Kaye, are set to bring their infectious house vibes to the new R1 Dance stage.
Another firm favourite with R1, the duo’s latest single ‘Giving It All’, received its premiere with Pete Tong and served up some irresistible summer house vibes, silky R&B vocals and infectious beats to match.
With an infectious track record including ‘Gold’, ‘Baby I Got That’ and their recent remix of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’, the duo have a busy weekend in store with performances at Reading & Leeds, Sw4 and Creamfields. You can also catch them at Bestival before they embark upon their own UK tour.
Robert DeLong: R1 Dance Stage
Having started off the year being MTV’s artists to watch for 2013, Robert DeLong released his debut genre-mashing album in February.
‘Just Movement‘ explores electro, house, moombahton, dubstep and indie pop; a truly unique masterpiece. Delong’s one-man band style performance infuses synths, acoustic drums, drum pads, infectious beats, MIDI effects and even game controllers into his live set – definitely one to act to check out.
Having already received great support from Radio 1′s Huw Stephens, Phil & Alice and featured as Zane Lowe’s ‘Next Hype’ with lead single ‘Global Concepts‘, it’s only right Delong takes to the R1 Dance Stage for one collective dance party!
– Other acts to check out on the R1 Dance Stage: Sub Focus and Iggy Azalea.
CHVRCHES: Festival Republic Stage
Electro pop trio Chvrches, started off 2013 being shortlisted for BBC’s Sound Of 2013 and placing 5th. Having released a string of impressive singles including ‘Gun’, ‘Recover’, ‘Lies‘ and ‘The Mother We Share‘, the Glasgow based trio consistently deliver infectious melodies infused with dark synth-pop textures and sweet piercing vocals from Lauren Mayberry.
The past year has seen the group tour in the UK, US and Canada as well as performing at festivals such as T in the Park, Field Day, Benicassim and Latitude. While their highly anticipated debut album ‘The Bones of What You Believe’ is expected later this year, you can also catch them at Electric Picnic in Ireland, before they return to the UK in October.
– Other Acts to check out on the Festival Republic Stage: Crystal Fighters, MS MR, Half Moon Run and The Strypes.
Toddla T Sound: 1Xtra Stage
Radio 1 DJ & producer Toddla T is set to bring his distinctive Toddla T Sound to the 1Xtra stage. The collaborative project, made up of Serocee, DRS, Shola AMA and Toddla T combines an energetic live DJ set with live vocalists, amazing visuals and plenty of garage, house and dancehall vibes. Recent Toddla T Sound tracks include ‘Shabba’ and ‘Flash’.
With two studio albums under his belt, ‘Skanky Skanky‘ and ‘Watch Me Dance‘, the Sheffield DJ has a busy weekend in store, with sets planned at Creamfields and Notting Hill Carnival (Ninja Tune and Big Dada present: Carnival and Notting Hill Carnival ft Annie Mac, Breach and Stylo G.)
You can also catch Toddla T Sound at Warehouse Project, Ibiza Rocks and Bestival .
– Other acts to check out on the 1Xtra Stage: Wiley and Stylo G
Lauren Aquilina: BBC Introducing Stage
18 year old Lauren Aquilina is set to headline the BBC introducing Stage.
The BBC Introducing Stage, supports unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians and gives artists the opportunity to perform at major festivals including, Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds as well as recording sessions at BBC Maida Vale Studios. Previous artists that have emerged from BBC Introducing include: Bombay Bicycle Club, Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine and Jake Bugg.
Lauren’s first independently released EP ‘Fools’ reached the top 10 on the iTunes album chart, while her follow-up EP ‘Sinners’ was released in July. With over 2.5 million YouTube view, 22k Facebook likes and strong backing from BBC, Lauren is set to embark upon her second headline tour this September. Her exquisite vocals and piano-led melodies are sure to see her grace many main stages in her already promising future.
Check back soon for more Top Pics for Day 2 & Day 3 of Reading!